It is truly amazing to see how much your child grows as a learner in the course of a single school year. And when your child has dyslexia or some other learning difference it seems miraculous! Keeping that momentum going and maintaining the gains that they have made during the school year can be challenging in the summer. A study from Johns Hopkins University estimated that over the summer students lose about a month of academic learning. For children with learning differences that amount can be even greater.
Over the summer it is essential to keep your child reading in order to maintain the skills that they acquired during the school year. However, summer reading does not have to look like the reading that happens during the school year. During the summer months you can let your child be more of the decision maker by letting them choose their reading materials, whether it is a comic book, a magazine or one of their go to favorite books. Of course you need to make sure that what your child reads is appropriate for both content and readability. Let them determine when they are going to do their reading, just as long as they are reading for some period of time on a daily basis. When children take ownership of the what, where and when of their reading it is no longer a chore and reading can become something that is actually enjoyable for him or her.
Don’t forget about reading to and with your child. Not only can this be a special bonding time for your and child but it also provides the opportunity for developing vocabulary and background knowledge. Another important benefit of reading aloud to your child is that it gives them the opportunity to hear grade level or above books that would not be able to read on their own.